The City of Wheaton is joining forces with other cities, villages, and counties across the state to urge state lawmakers to Invest In Communities by returning a greater portion of your taxes back to our community.
What does that mean? When the State income tax was established more than 50 years ago, it was agreed that a portion of it should be returned to each community based on population. In the State budget, this funding is known as the Local Government Distributive Fund, or LGDF.
LGDF is an important revenue source for every local government in the state, not only because it is stable and reliable year after year, but because each community can use it wherever it is most needed to stabilize and improve the community. In Wheaton, LGDF makes up nearly 7% of our annual operating budget, or approximately $8 million of the City’s $120 million budget.
But here’s the problem: in 2011, the State decreased the portion of income taxes that is returned to our community from LGDF. Rather than 10% of income taxes, Illinois lawmakers have allocated just over 6% to local governments in recent years.
Across the state, municipalities and counties have lost out on more than $8 billion that could be used in lieu of property taxes or other revenues to replace lead service lines, train police officers, buy equipment for first responders, pay down public safety pension obligations, improve or repair infrastructure projects, and more. In Wheaton, restoring the portion of income taxes returned to the City to 10% would provide an additional $2.9 million for these projects.
With the State’s financial condition the healthiest it has been in decades, Illinois municipalities are asking the General Assembly to prioritize funding for infrastructure, public safety, and community services in all Illinois communities by restoring LGDF. In Wheaton, additional funding could be used for capital projects to reduce flooding and improve Wheaton roads, without needing to raise our local taxes.
As Illinois lawmakers prepare this year’s State Budget, the City of Wheaton is urging the General Assembly to Invest In Communities and restore the Local Government Distributive Fund to 10%. Visit InvestInCommunities.org to learn more and make your voice heard by contacting your state legislators and posting on social media using #InvestInCommunities.